The police and the prosecution office in Durrës provide different figures for the crime of theft, by creating doubts on the credibility of the statistics. Of the 701 thefts reported in 2013, only 277 of them have been discovered. Motor vehicles, apartments and businesses are the favorite “prey” of thieves.
An unusual event surprised recently the citizens of Durrës, when a vehicle parked on the street was found ‘dismantled” of all available parts. The still unidentified perpetrators worked “quietly” overnight by disassembling everything from the vehicle. The Mercedes type car, which, was owned by an Albanian immigrant living in United Kingdom, did not have anything similar to the new bought car of the value of 50.000 GBP. The incident occurred in the neighborhood number 5 in Durrës, where the vehicle type Mercedes CLS 350 with plate numbers “AA 657 HT” was disassembled by the thieves by stealing the four doors, the steering wheel group, the front and rear bumper and a spare tire. Also, the perpetrators stole a mobile phone and some documents that were found on the vehicle. This theft which is considered unusual by Durrës Police remains unresolved even after several months from the incident. However, this case is just one of hundreds of thefts committed every day in the coastal town, as oppose to the available statistics by the Prosecution office.
Facsimile of the Durrës Police Directorate Response for investigim.al
Investigim.al has obtained the reports from the two justice institutions, the police and the prosecution office in Durrës, which provide different statistics about the number of thefts and about the proceedings recorded in the prosecution office. The statistics reported for 2013, as there are not yet any reports compiled on thefts for 2014, reveal thefts to be a problematic crime for Durrës district, especially, during summer season the numbers of thefts rise. However, beyond the mismatch of the figures released from both institutions, it is accepted the low level of theft detection by the police. Police’s figures show less than half of the thefts to be detected, and in many cases the perpetrators are investigated while left fee. Investigim.al has addressed an official letter to Durrës district police directorate, requesting information for the thefts identified in the district for the 2013.
“During 2013, in the territory under the jurisdiction of Durrës district police directorate, were identified in total 701 thefts, of which 277 were discovered and identified 345 offenders of whom 183 were arrested in the act or detained, 96 investigated while released and 61 declared wanted and on search”, answers the Police Directorate of Durrës to investigim.al. In relation to these figures, the 701 thefts reported in 2013, only 277 of them appear to have been discovered. The remaining 424 thefts remain unresolved by being added year after year to the statistics of the archived crime in the police. According to the police directorate of Durrës statistics, these figures include all types of thefts, and robberies. According to the police common thefts are the most common crime in the coastal city as vehicles, houses and businesses appear to be the favorite “prey” of thieves.
According to Durrës police statistics for 2013, there are 15 armed robberies reported, of which only 9 are discovered and 18 offenders have been arrested and two are declared wanted. Robberies appear more alarming not only in terms of high rates of this crime, but also in terms of low police detection rates.”Of the 50 cases of robberies identified, 20 are discovered with 26 identified offenders, 15 of which have been arrested and 11 declared wanted by the police”, announces the Durrës Police. The same situation applies in cases of burglaries, or motor vehicle thefts, occurring in Durrës District Police Directorate covering area. According to the official figures, of the 143 burglaries reported in 2013, the police have been able to discover only 52 of them, by showing very low detection rates for this crime. The situation appears worse regarding the motor vehicle theft detection rates, which is the most common crime in this district. “They have identified 121 motor vehicle thefts, of which 21 were detected with 10 offenders arrested, and 10 others were declared wanted,” says Police of Durrës, adding that 6 motor vehicle thefts discovered were reported during the previous years.
Figures of Durrës Prosecution for the Crime of Theft for 2013
Unlike police statistics, the prosecution office statistics in Durrës show another picture regarding the theft figures in this district. According to Durrës prosecution office’ official statistics for the 2013 reporting period, there were recorded only 1,038 criminal proceedings for common theft charges provided by the article 134 of the Criminal Code. While, Durrës district police’ figures have recorded for the same reporting period, 701 thefts, which is a significant difference to the figures compiled by the prosecution office. Doubts arise, as the number of proceedings appears to be registered only in Durrës district court prosecution office, whereas, the police department has under its jurisdiction also the district of Kruja. The thefts occurring in Kruja district are supposed to be reported by the police, not to be included in Durrës prosecution office reports, as these crimes are investigated by Kruja prosecution office. Therefore, the difference of the figures reported by the police and prosecution could be even greater.
Experts tend to give an explanation for the inconsistency of the reports data, although it seems to be less credible. According to the experts, who prefer to be anonymous in this article, the number of the recorded proceedings in the prosecution office is greater than the theft figures reported by the police, because the prosecution office includes on its reports figures and proceedings accumulated from the previous years. However, the number of the proceedings by the prosecution only for common theft charge is almost twice higher than the figures reported by the police for all types of theft. As identified by the prosecution statistics, the total number of criminal prosecutions for all types of thefts, including “theft and abuse of public office”,” electricity theft”, “armed robbery” and “robbery”, is 1138 criminal proceedings.
Sisters in law Elsa and Gjinovefa Vava, murdered in their apartment in Durrës
Despite of the different reported numbers about theft crime, the police and the prosecution office’ statistics share something in common: the very low detection rate. By the end of 2013, 138 penal proceedings were registered by the prosecution office in Durrës for the common theft charge, while only few cases were sent to the court. The number of penal proceedings sent to court in 2013 was only 139, which, is a very low number compared to the total number of the penal proceedings registered. The suspended penal proceedings sent by the prosecution to the police for further investigation, were not included in the total number. This fact would increase further the difference between the occurred offences and the discovered cases by the police. This situation has been inherited year after year, while increasing dreadfully the undetected thefts, which often have taken people’ lives in Durrës.
The latest case occurred on September the 2nd of this year, when two old women after having been tortured were killed with plastic bags by three persons, who were identified two weeks later by the police and the prosecution office in Durrës. The sisters-in-law Elsa Vava 72-years old and Gjinovefa Vava 77-years old were tortured for long hours in the second floor of the building they lived in lonely. The police identified as the authors of the crime, the citizens Artur Kacanolli and Velson Elmazi who were arrested, and Indrit Shqaja was claimed on search by the police. The police discovered that the main motive behind this offence was the stealing of 200.000 Lek in the house of the old ladies, information which was possessed by the citizen Artur Kacanolli nephew of one of the victims. He was suspected to be the organizer of the break in, which resulted in the death of the two ladies, while this event was categorized as “robbery with death result” by the prosecution. The finding of the perpetrators was made possible from the identification of the vehicle they went to the house of the two victims. The vehicle was identified by the police and by the witnesses seeing it by the house, where the two tortured sisters-in-law Elsa and Gjinovefa Vava were found. Even though, the detection of this violent crime is considered a success by the police and by the prosecution office in Durrës, they seem to not show the same commitment and engagement in the detection of numerous other theft crimes that happen in this region.
Investigim.al contacted some ex-police directors in Durrës and asked them about the low detection rates of thefts and the discrepancies in the data of penal proceedings registered by the prosecution. All officers working in Durrës district police during 2013, refused to answer to the investigim.al, leaving unanswered the question why the police could not discover even half of the occurring thefts?
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